Many of us only reluctantly accept one of life’s toughest lessons. In the course of doing our very best to make a better world–decades all blood, sweat and tears in the face of hideous odds–we may discover we really fouled up things this time. The road to hell, etc., etc.
Never realizing our mistakes, however, is a far worse fate. No course correction or critical realignment is otherwise possible. And the march below can be made double time when those more wily than we–recognizing our errors in judgment and failures in character for what they are–use our self-serving self-righteousness to their advantage.
There are still uglier routes. The humanitarianism industry, for one, fighting cholera in Haiti here, housing Sudanese refugees there, consciously thrives on just such contradictions. Acquiring access to disasters and the cash flow to mount operations in response typically includes accepting the premises underlying the oppression that produces many of the victims on which the industry subsists.